PENDLETON - Six candidates for three City Council positions were asked to offer their visions for Pendleton before about 100 people at a community forum in the Vert Club Room Monday evening.
Connie Wright said family-wage jobs is the most critical issue facing the city and that the city needs to make sure it has the infrastructure in place and is prepared for growth.
"It has to be done in a very well-structured ma- nner," she said.
Cheryl Beck agreed jobs are the key issue. "We are a destination," she said. "We are working hard to bring people to Pendleton. We need to plan."
Asked about the budget, Beck said it finances the city as well as it can within the tax base. "To fund it at a higher level, we need a larger tax base," she said.
Wright said the city has adequate resources "for the very near future." She suggested working with the state and county to maintain some city streets.
"We need to work together because we're all in the same economic crisis," she said. "I think it's real important that we be resourceful."
Regarding managing conflict, Wright said there had been no real conflict among city council members during the past seven years.
"It's OK to disagree," she said.
Beck said people always encounter those with differing opinions, but it's important to consider what they have to say. "If you listen to people, that's a very valuable gift that you give them," she said.
Ken West said employment still will be an issue 10 years into the future, as will building the city's infrastructure. "Family-wage jobs need to be defined," he said, adding that they are not $10-$12 per hour. As property values continue to rise, the city needs jobs that pay enough so that people can afford to purchase houses and to support the city, he noted.
Dan Ceniga said Barnhart Road needs to be developed to serve the city's airport industrial property. He also said the city must consider its senior citizens, making sure they have good public transportation and housing.
Asked about partnering with other agencies, Ceniga said he favored it. "You don't do very many things alone in this world," he said. "We need to utilize whatever resources we can to benefit Pendleton."
West agreed partnering is important. "We need to follow somebody else's lead if it's there," he said.
Both candidates said communication is important in a good manager.
"I believe in open and honest com- munication, and I believe in open-door policies," West said. "I pride myself in being honest, fair and impartial."
Ceniga said his policy is "listen, listen, listen, ask, ask, and to understand why a question is being asked."
Cheryl Marier said Pendleton needs jobs, so she thinks the city's No. 1 responsibility will be developing industrial property and maintaining its police and fire departments. She also recommended encouraging companies to move here that will pay higher wages and working to attract retirees because they have high disposable incomes.
Paul Ga- daire said it's important that Pendleton maintain its existing industries but also cooperate with the county to develop the roads in the airport area. He also commented on maintaining public safety and taking care of the city's aging population.
Both Gadaire and Marier said they were experienced in dealing with budgets. Gadaire said he was an a deputy fire chief in New England and Marier said she had owned her own medical practice and had been responsible for the Oregon East Symphony budget.
Both also said communications are the key to resolving conflicts with city employees and dealing with citizens.
The forum was organized by the American Association of University Women.